On Thursday morning (day 3 of our little European adventure) we set off on a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. If you don’t know this castle by name I’m sure you’ll recognise it from the pictures – it was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle – so its pretty much exactly what fairy tales are made of!
I was really happy that we were taking a day out of our trip to visit this castle, it’s one of the first castles I had on my bucket list – I pinned it wishfully, over 3 years ago, not really thinking I’d ever be able to visit it, BUT moving to London has made it so much easier and more affordable for us to travel!
We started the day off sprinting through Munich station making it onto the train with seconds to spare…it was bound to happen at least once right?! But at least we didn’t have to wait an hour for the next train!
The train was quite full (it was a double story train which was pretty cool) but after walking the length of the train we managed to find some open seats and settled in for the long ride through the Bavarian countryside.
We arrived in Füssen and caught the bus to Hohenschwangau, the little village that is home to both the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles.
After we arrived and collected our tickets (booking in advance saved us a ton of queuing time) we grabbed some currywurst for an early lunch and then strolled through the pretty village.
We walked along the road, up the mountain side, you could take a horse and carriage if you really wanted to. Suddenly the castle was looming over us, having been hidden by trees right until we were pretty much next to it. Kind of like when you’re driving through the game reserve and all of a sudden there is an elephant popping his head out of the bushes next to your car!
We wandered around the castle and the viewing platform in front of it, taking tons of photos and ussies while we waited for our time slot to go inside. Sadly the Marienbrücke bridge was closed for maintenance during our visit (this seems to be a thing in the winter months) so we didn’t get to enjoy the view of the castle from the bridge.
Once we were in the castle we were taken on a tour from one extravagantly decorated room to the next, our guide explained what the inspiration was for the decor in each room and why crazy King Ludwig loved the decor he had chosen so much! Photos are not allowed inside the castle, but you can take photos from one of the balconies with sweeping views of the village, lake and mountains that surround the castle . You can also see an interactive tour of the castle here.
After we left the castle we headed through the woods down to the village for a little more exploration, nipping in and out of the shops as we walked up the main street.
As the village started to close for the day we made our last stop at the lake, with hardly any tourists left and only a handful of locals sitting alongside the lake, all of the paddle boats nestled under a little boat house covered with snow, ducks floating along the surface of the lake and the sun peeking out from the clouds behind the mountains it was the most serene place I have ever been. So calm and so peaceful, I will remember it for the rest of my days.
As the sun sank lower behind the mountain we made our way back to the bus stop and caught the bus back to Füssen, we grabbed a few snacks for the long journey back to Munich and then hopped on the train. For some reason we always try the chocolate milk when we visit a new country, I don’t know why, but it’s kind of a thing.
When we got back to Munich we made a beeline for Hofbrauhaus, filling up on our last bit of German cuisine, Riaan went for the pork knuckle – AGAIN! I ordered the Kasespatzel – it’s kind of like a mac and cheese, but better! Made with egg noodles and topped with cheese and crispy fried onions, it’s the perfect winter comfort food! This was all washed down with a stein or two of course.
I really can’t wait to visit Munich again! We’re planning to go back to Neuschwanstein and Zugspitze in September when we go to Oktoberfest. Hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to have clear skies and a paddle on the lake!
Until next time,
*Featured image and first photo both sourced from Pixabay